If anyone has ever been to Vienna probably share a common sense that this city is not inferior to anywhere in Europe in terms of ancient, beautiful and majestic. Vienna is a combination of romantic beauty blending with a bit of nostalgia and indispensable flavor of music. However, travelers, especially backpackers or self-sufficient travelers often shorten their journey to Vienna because Austria has many other beautiful places are Salzburg and especially Hallstatt, so there is not much time for Vienna. If you had only one day in Vienna, where would you go? So, what to do in Vienna for 1 day (Vienna in a day) and how to spend 1 day in Vienna (24 hours in Vienna)? Let’s check it out our suggested Vienna one day trip with best places to see in Vienna in 1 day (must see Vienna one day, Vienna 1 day itinerary, Vienna one day itinerary) to find out the answer!
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1 day in Vienna: Top places to see in Vienna in 1 day (must see Vienna one day)
Vienna is likened to an elegant and successful gentleman, because of the richness but equally ancient of this city. So many poets, writers have fallen in love with Vienna, letting go of the most beautiful words to praise its beauty. But there is nothing like coming here, feeling the rhythm and breath of Vienna, taking a leisurely ride on horse carriage riding like in fairy tales or getting on trams with two distinctive red-and-white colors throughout the city and wandering around Vienna …
Schönbrunn Palace – Summer Palace
Not surprisingly, if this is the first place that comes to mind of every visitor when coming to Vienna. Although a bit far from the city center, you can easily getting here because the palace is located quite near the subway station. Schönbrunn Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, is a favorite resort on the hot summer days of the Austrian royal family before and a hunting ground for nobility. But the most famous for this palace is the romantic story of Emperor Franz Josef I and the beautiful Bavarian young woman – Elizabeth, later is Queen Sissi. Although the queen was not a fan of Vienna, she accepted stay at the palace because of her gratitude for the King.
Schönbrunn Palace was built in a large ground with modern Baroque architecture during the Renaissance period. Honestly, I found the design here quite simple, gentle, a large building and surrounded by lots of trees and many people take care of everyday. One thing that will bother that visitors are not allowed to take photos inside the palace but are only allowed to take photos at outside areas.
Right next to the palace, take a walk up the hill to visit the Gloriette (a tower-like two storeyed pavilion built around 1775) by Architect Fisher. From this pavilion you can see the whole beautiful city of Vienna, highlighting the magnificent and splendid of the Palace and the vibrant flower gardens surrounding it. You should note that Schönbrunn is very large, it takes all day to explore all, so you should detailp plan to go to other places.
Address: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Goodbye Summer Palace, take Metro to return to downtown. Fortunately, almost all the attractions are concentrated in an area not too far from each other that you can walk to visit. Exit at Stephansplatz Metro Station and you’ll immediately see St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the symbol of Vienna is like the Eiffel of Paris.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is 145m high, built in a magnificent Gothic style to every angle and every detail, sharp windows and soaring towers to make the whole building solid and strong. The people of Vienna called Stephen by the intimate name “Steffl” because it was so long associated with the city, to the point that people felt a little aversion to the Hass Haus architecture that was built right opposite from it later.
On occasions when visiting ancient European cities, I like to wander the alleys and corners of the city where daily activities of indigenous people take place, but with strange light direction and unique camera spot for my camera. In Stephansdom there are such streets, I have been learning somewhere about the Rosensteingasse road where Mozart died, the intact relics for hundreds of years about an ancient and deep Vienna.
Address: Stephansplatz 3, 1010 Wien, Austria
Hofburg Imperial Palace
If Schönbrunn Palace is the Summer Palace, Hofburg is known as the Winter Palace. It is also a huge, vast complex that has been the residence of the Habsburg royal family for centuries. Today the palace is divided into sections with works such as the National Library and the Presidential Palace.
Together with Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire used to be a powerful empire before, so Austria has a lot of monumental works that Hofburg Palace is a typical architecture. Coming here, you will see a lot of horse carts, much more than other areas because they do travel services by this means. Another strange thing about this palace is that the complex lacks a palace on the left that looks a bit unbalanced compared to the central palace in the middle and an extra palace on the right, but it makes perfect from that imbalance itself.
Leaving the Palace and walking a few steps are the Museum of Natural History Vienna (Address: Burgring 7, 1010 Wien, Austria) and the Museum of Art History (Museum of Fine Arts) (Address: Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Wien, Austria) displaying numerous works of art from Habsburg dynasty. For me, the museum is not a very interesting place, so I just stop by.
Address: Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Wien, Austria
Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera)
Vienna’s Opera House is also a symbol because it represents the quintessence, art, music of Austria, for those who love classical music. Wandering here you will easily catch the Ticket touts invite to come to listen to a concert held here. This theater is located right next to the relatively large road so it feels quite rough and does not attract eyes like other architectural works.
Actually the ticket price is not too high, only 15-20 EUR for a seat inside, but there are also tickets up to hundreds of euros. Coming to Vienna and buy tickets to see a performance in the Opera House is also a memorable experience, but if you have too little budget for this, there is a discount tip that you should buy a standing ticket , only 3-4 EUR . Although a bit hard, but what brings surely will be well worth it. In addition to the Opera House, Vienna has many other old theaters scattered throughout the city.
Address: Opernring 2, 1010 Wien, Austria
Vienna 1 day itinerary: Other places
In addition to the architectures and places mentioned above you can take a tour around to visit some other places. It is the Belvedere Palace, Hundertwasser, or an apartment complex designed by an architect of the same name with many colors and different protruding blocks creating a magnificent picture. And the new Danube Tower was built in the 20th century in a modern style, you can go to the top of the tower to see the whole city, the gentle Danube river and the modern street with the UN building on the other river side. In addition, the above has a very unique cafe. This cafe is created by 2 golden towers with many angles and rotates every 30 minutes.
Vienna is not only famous for its magnificent architectural works, but also coming to Vienna is an opportunity to take a stroll to admire the peaceful scenery, walking along the banks of the Danube river flowing through many major European cities such as Prague or Budapest. Vienna is known as the capital of music, home to musical geniuses like Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert… with many immortal compositions. In order to enjoy music in Vienna, not only in the national theaters, but you can see anywhere on the road, or the Karntner Strasse walking street where the gathering of street artists that are showing their talent…
If you have more time and want to learn deeper into life in Vienna, you should go to Kohlmarkt walking street. This is a street selling coal before, so it was named affectionately as Coal Market, and Michaelerplatz square at the end of the road with many ancient architectural houses, colorful windows …
Vienna 1 day itinerary: Where to stay in Vienna?
Traveling to Vienna and convenient for traveling, visiting, you should stay in the central district, also known as District 1 (District one). Staying here, you can easily walk to visit the most famous places around there without having to travel far. If you want to go to more remote areas, metro is the optimal solution and is extremely convenient because the public transport system in Vienna is too good.
Of course the room rates in the center will be quite expensive, and I found that hotel price in Vienna are also in the top expensive compared to other cities in Europe. You can book hotels in Vienna via Booking.com, Agoda.com or Hostelworld. The old town of Stephansdom and Stephansplatz is a good choice because it is home to many attractions, and there are quite a lot of bars, pubs and eateries, the evening is very beautiful and bustling. If you have a good financial condition and prefer subtle, Das Triest Hotel (Agoda.com or Booking.com) can not be ignored designed with gentle and extremely luxurious architecture. Staying here you can go to the balcony to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and admire the whole of ancient Vienna.
If you are a backpacker, you should choose an economical accommodation, but usually a hostel is not located in the most central neighborhoods but on the edge of the city. You can refer to Westbahnhof Hostel One (Agoda.com or Booking.com), located right next to the quite clean and beautiful Westbahnhof train station, with a self-catering kitchen, especially near the bustling shopping district of Mariahilfer Straße. If you want cheaper, you should choose a&t Holiday Hostel (Agoda.com or Booking.com) is also quite ok, bunk beds only 15-20 Euro.
Vienna one day trip: Shopping in Vienna
For shopping in Vienna you can go to the neighborhoods selling a lot of souvenirs, brands or jewelry such as Naschmarkt, Kärntner Strasse, Graben and Kohlmarkt.
The most famous market is Naschmarkt (Address: 1060 Vienna, Austria / Hours: 6AM–9PM; Sunday: Closed), also known as the oldest market in Vienna. Here you can find many kinds of traditional food, Austrian food or even Asian and European foods. On Saturdays this area also has a large flea market meeting here, the opportunity for those who want to buy cheap miscellaneous items. There are also a number of smaller markets in Vienna that sell fruits and vegetables, such as Rochus Markt, Freyung and Karmelitermarkt.
For the shopping lovers, Mariahilfer Straße is not to be missed, many shops sell clothes, accessories, and luxury brands. For smaller shops you should look to Lindengasse, Siebensterngasse and Kirchengasse.
Events that take place throughout the year in Vienna / Austria
In Vienna, you should learn some holidays and festivals in Vienna so that you can harmonize the city beats, better understand the culture of the indigenous people. Some major events in Vienna take place throughout the year such as:
Taking place from November 27 to December 24, this is an occasion that you can go to the ornately decorated Christmas markets, buy souvenirs, enjoy traditional dishes and live in peaceful Christmas atmosphere. The feeling of a warm Christmas in the cold weather always makes travelers remember forever. The Christmas markets in Vienna are usually located quite close to the main stations.
Donau Insel Fest
Taking place from June 24 to June 26 every year, it is a music festival in Vienna that attracts many tourists to the Danube island where the festival is held. You take the Metro to Donauinsel station to come to the road leading to the island and participate in the festival, free entrance.
Taking place from July 22 to August 31, this music festival takes place in Salzburg and specializes in classical music.
1 day in Vienna: Some useful tips when traveling to Vienna
- The good time to visit Vienna is from May to July because it is a time when the weather is still cool with light sunshine. At the peak of summer in August, it is sometimes very hot and uncomfortable. I don’t suggest to visit in the winter, but it’s great for those who come here at Christmas. Christmas atmosphere comes in every corner of Vienna, the city is dressed in new colors, more gorgeous and more charm, especially not to be missed the Christmas markets.
- In Vienna there are many public water taps that you can easily get without having to buy bottled water at the supermarkets, it’s better when keep a large plastic bottle to store water. The water here also feels cleaner than in other cities.
- Transportation in Vienna is very convenient and easy to traveling, you do not have to worry too much about this.
- Unlike some other countries like France, Italy or Spain, Austrian people are quite good at English, you can easily communicate with them.
- Coming to Vienna, you can not help but visit a cafe to enjoy not only the flavorful cup of coffee but also a lot of delicious food here. Visit the old town cafe to experience centuries-old life, scenery and culture, where poets and composers of Vienna often hang out to talk and share their ideas.
- In Vienna most of the places are free to enter, for example St. Stephan’s Cathedral, Schonbrunn Palace flower garden area (if you visit the Schonbrunn palace the ticket price is € 13.30) and Belvedere Palace, Naschmarkt market.
- Vienna has lots of places to go, play and enjoy but with just one day you can go to the main attractions above. If not because the time is too tight you should spend about 2-4 days to visit this city.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Vienna you can refer to
- Private Vienna International Airport (VIE) Transfers for Vienna
- Vienna City Card
- Vienna PASS
- Vienna City Airport Train Tickets
- Salzburg Day Tour from Vienna
- Hallstatt Day Tour from Salzburg
- Hallstatt Day Tour from Vienna
- Vienna Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tours (Open-Top)
- Schönbrunn Palace (Skip-the-Line) and Vienna City Tour
Are you looking for more top things to do in Vienna: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Vienna travel blog — The fullest vienna travel guide & How to spend 1 day in vienna perfectly? And let’s check it out here.